Soteriology (The Doctrine of Salvation)
Meaning of Salvation
Salvation from a Negative Perspective
To deliver humanity from death.
Our souls die because of sins (Gen 2:17; Lk
9:60; Eph 2:1).
Without salvation, we are eternally dead (Mt
25:41, 46; Rev 21:8).
The Lord Jesus can save us from death (2 Cor
1:10; Rev 20:6).
Through his death, the Lord Jesus destroyed him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil (1 Cor 15:54–57; Heb 2:14).
To deliver humanity from sin.
Death comes from sin. If there is no remission
of sins, no one can escape death (Rom 5:12, 6:23).
Under the Mosaic law,
without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22).
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners
(Mt 1:21; 1 Tim 1:15).
Jesus Christ shed his blood for the whole world,
and he can cleanse all our sins (Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12–14).
To deliver humanity from the dominion of the
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin
is the law (Rom 5:13; 1 Cor 15:56).
Jesus Christ was born under the law to redeem
those under the law (Gal 4:4–5).
Jesus was made a curse for us—on the cross—to
redeem us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13; Col 2:14, 16–17).
Those who have been redeemed by the Lord are no longer under
the law. They are liberated from the bondage of the law (Rom 6:14, 7:4, 6).
To deliver humanity from the power of the devil.
Satan is the evil one that causes sin and death
(Jn 8:44; Jas 3:14–16; Rev 20:10).
The whole world lies under the reign of Satan (1
The Lord Jesus has overcome the devil (Jn 16:33;
Heb 2:14, 4:15; Rev 3:21).
In Christ Jesus, we can turn away from the power
of Satan and overcome the world (Acts 26:18; 1 Jn 5:4–5, 18).
Salvation from a Positive Perspective
To lead humanity into the kingdom of heaven.
The message that Jesus Christ proclaimed is the
good news of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 4:17).
Jesus’ disciples also proclaimed the gospel of
the kingdom of heaven (Mt 10:7).
Those who believe in the gospel will be saved by
the Lord into the kingdom of heaven (2 Tim 4:18).
Receiving the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of
our heavenly inheritance (Eph 1:13–14).
To give humanity everlasting life.
The Lord’s words are called the “words of
eternal life” (Jn 6:68; Acts 5:20).
Salvation is called “the grace of life” (1 Pet
Jesus laid down his life to give us eternal life
(1 Jn 2:25; Jn 3:16, 36; Rom 5:21).
By the promised Holy Spirit we obtain eternal
life (Jn 4:14, 7:37–39; Rev 22:17).
To bestow glory on humanity.
The grace of God is boundless. The Lord
justifies those whom he called and bestows glory on them (Rom 8:30; Heb 2:10).
The Lord will change our lowly body into the
likeness of his glorious body (Phil 3:21).
The Lord Jesus protects and assures our glorious
heavenly inheritance (Col
3:24; 1 Pet 1:4).
The Lord will reward the saints with the
unfading crown of glory (1 Pet 5:4, 10).
The Redemptive Plan Of God
The Necessity of Salvation
People cannot save themselves from sin and
The whole world is subject to the devil (Eph
2:1–3; 1 Jn 5:19).
Humanity is bound by sin (Jer 13:23; Rom
Humanity’s lot is to be judged and condemned
(Rom 6:23; Rev 21:8).
God is love and cannot endure to see humanity’s
God treasures his creation, especially humankind
(Ps 8:3–4, 144:3).
God takes no pleasure in seeing people perish
(Ezek 33:11; 2 Pet 3:9).
In mercy, God planned to redeem a fallen
humanity (Ps 103:13; Prov 24:11–12; Isa 49:15; 1 Jn 4:8, 16).
The Promise of Salvation
God told the devil that the seed of the woman
would bruise his head (Gen 3:15).
God promised Abraham that the Savior would come
from his seed, and that all nations would thus be blessed by him (Gen 22:18,
God renewed his covenant with Israel from time
to time, for the Lord promised that a Savior would be given to Israel in due
Jacob prophesied that Shiloh (meaning “the one
who brings peace”) would come from Judah, and to him would belong the
obedience of the people (Gen 49:10, NKJV).
God promised he would raise
up a prophet, in his name, from Israel
to guide the people (Deut 18:15–19).
God’s firstborn, the highest of the kings of the
earth, would come from the seed of David (Ps 89:27–37; Jer 23:5–6).
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is
given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be
called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ ”
All the ends of the earth shall see the
salvation of God (Isa 52:10).
Types of Salvation
Garments of skins (Gen 3:21).
God made garments of skins to
cover the shame of our first parents, Adam and Eve. This covering typifies
God’s sending of his anointed to shed his blood. Jesus was God’s anointed and
sinless Son, but through God’s mercy, Jesus shed his blood for the remission of
our sins. Using the typology of Adam and Eve’s covering, we understand that it
is through Jesus’ blood that we can cover our shame and receive justification
(cf. Jn 1:29; 1 Pet 3:18; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:27).
The bronze serpent (Num 21:9).
God told Moses to set a bronze
serpent on a pole. The Israelites bitten by the fiery serpents survived after
they beheld the bronze serpent (Num 21:4–9). So the bronze serpent typifies
Jesus Christ and the redeeming sacrifice of the cross. Those who have faith in
Jesus and look forward to his coming will not be condemned, rather, they will
be saved (cf. Jn 3:14–15).
Moses was called to deliver Israel out of Egypt. God sent Moses to deliver Israel
from the bondage of Pharaoh. This act typifies Jesus’ coming to the world in
order to save God’s chosen from the terrible reign of Satan (cf. Deut 18:15–19;
Acts 3:22–23). Moses, as a type of Jesus Christ, is a prefiguration of Jesus as
Moses was persecuted by Pharaoh during his
infancy. Likewise, the Lord Jesus was persecuted by Herod (cf. Ex 1:15–16, 22;
Moses rejected the prosperity and glamour of Egypt.
The Lord Jesus became poor for our sake (cf. Heb 11:24–27; 2 Cor 8:9).
Moses guided the Israelites through the Red Sea, a prefiguration of baptism. The Lord Jesus wants
to save us from this sinful world, typified by Egypt
Through water baptism, we belong to Christ (cf. Ex 14:21–23; 1 Cor 10:1–2; Gal
Moses built the tabernacle in the wilderness,
which is symbolic of this world. The Lord Jesus, likewise, built his church in
the world (cf. Ex 25:8–9; Acts 20:28; Heb 8:1–2).
Moses was faithful in the matters of God’s
household. The Lord Jesus humbled himself and became obedient unto death for
God’s household—the church (cf. Num 12:7; Phil 2:4–8; Heb 3:2, 5).
Jesus Christ Has Fulfilled The Promise Of
Salvation Is Manifested through Jesus Christ
Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ (Jn
Grace is given to those who are in Christ (Eph
2:7; 2 Tim 1:9–10).
No other name under heaven, except Jesus, is
given among men, whereby we must be saved (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12).
To see Jesus is to see God’s salvation (Lk
The Blood of Jesus Christ Fulfilled Salvation.
According to the law, “without
the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Heb 9:22). But the
blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins (Heb 10:1–4). Hence, the Lord
Jesus had to shed his blood in order to fulfill salvation (Heb 10:5–10). The
effects of the blood of Jesus Christ are as follows:
Jesus’ precious blood is a ransom.
Humanity is sold to sin, being a slave of sin
(Jn 8:34; Rom 7:14).
If humanity is to be redeemed, it must depend
upon the blood of Christ, since the life of all flesh is in the blood. We can
have redemption and forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ blood (Lev 17:11; Mt
20:28; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:18–19).
Jesus purchases Christians with his precious
blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 6:20; Rev 5:9).
Sin is cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
The sacrificial rites in the Old Testament were
only a shadow of the good things to come (Heb 10:1–4).
Only the precious blood of the Lord can purify
our conscience from dead works (Heb 9:14; 1 Jn 1:7; Rev 1:5).
Through baptism, the blood of the Lord Jesus can
wash away our sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16; Rom 3:25).
The blood of the Lord Jesus leads us to see God.
People are separated from God because of sin
We are reconciled with God through the blood of
Jesus Christ (Eph 2:13; Col
By the blood of Jesus we can boldly enter into
the Holy of Holies (Heb 10:19–20; cf. Mt 27:50–51; Heb 9:7–9).
The Giving And Receving Of Salvation
God’s Salvation Is Universal
God desires all people to be saved, for he is
not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance (1 Tim
2:4; 2 Pet 3:9).
God loves humanity, regardless of their race or
social status (Jn 3:16; Gal 3:27–28; Rev 7:9).
The Lord commanded the disciples to proclaim the
gospel to every created being (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47).
Though God’s salvation is universally applicable
for humanity, according to the Bible, God will not save fallen angels (Heb
2:16; 2 Pet 2:4).
Salvation Is a Gift from God
Salvation does not result from our own deeds,
but from God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9).
It is the Lord who chose us, and vice versa (Jn
15:16; Eph 1:5–6).
God will have mercy upon those whom he wills
God grants us an inexpressible gift (2 Cor 9:15;
cf. Jn 1:16).
Salvation Is a Free Gift
Now to one who works, his wages are not counted
as a gift but as his wage (Rom 4:4–5).
We are not saved by our own doings (Rom 4:6–7;
We are not saved through the deeds of the law
(Rom 3:20, 28).
Salvation is freely given by God’s grace to
humanity (Rom 3:24; Rev 22:17).
We Receive Salvation through Faith
By God’s grace we are saved through faith (Rom
3:25; Eph 2:8).
Salvation is given to everyone who has faith in
Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16–17, 10:13).
The just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17; Heb
True faith is manifested by deeds (Jas 2:20–26).
Now Is the Acceptable Time and the Day of
Now is the time of the Holy Spirit of the latter
rain, a time of God’s acceptance (Lk 4:10, 19; Joel 2:28–29, 32; Zech 10:1).
Pray to God before the flood of great waters
rush over you (Ps 32:6, 69:13). Turn to God before the imminent final judgment
(1 Pet 4:7; 2 Pet 3:4–9).
Accept Jesus Christ today before it is too late
(Lk 16:22–31; Ps 95:7; Heb 2:1–3).
Behold, now is the acceptable time and the day
of salvation! (Prov 27:1; Isa 49:8; 2 Cor 6:2).